Voting machine design blamed for New York’s 60,000 lost ballots

By Andrew Jones
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 11:36 EDT
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A man casting a vote. Image via AFP.
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It wasn’t voter fraud that caused 60,000 ballots to be tossed from the 2010 election in New York – it was poorly designed voting machines.

According to a study from the New York University’s Brennan School for Justice, the new optical voting system confused voters so much that they ended up casting their votes for two candidates, or “overvoting.”

The study indicates that most of the problems “occurred far more frequently in areas with higher populations of low-income residents, people of color and immigrants.”

Lawrence Norden, acting director of the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, told the New York Daily News, “There’s a serious problem here.”

“For the first time, there were tens of thousands of people who lost their votes on the new system,” he said. “And we have to make adjustment to make sure we don’t see a repeat of this.”

The New York State Board of Elections plans to provide voters with a better warning of overvoting ahead of the 2012 elections, although it’s not clear whether those new guidelines will be in time.

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones is a staff writer/reporter for Raw Story. Besides covering politics, he is also a freelance sports journalist, as well as a slam poetry and music artist. You can follow him on Twitter @sluggahjells.
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